Rebecca Mahony is the Chief Marketing Officer to the inventors of outstream video advertising and a global monetization platform for publishers, Teads, where she is responsible for supervising the company's global marketing, communication, and publicity initiatives. Best known for its inRead advertising technology, which places video ads in the heart of premium editorial content, like Forbes, The Washington Post, Reuters and Slate, Teads is one of the fastest growing companies in its space, with 26 offices across 18 countries, as well as a headcount of over 400+ employees.
In order to establish and grow the Teads brand in North America, Mahony left her life, connections and home in London behind to tackle New York City. Hitting the ground running, within just a few months of her US arrival, Mahony had not only produced tremendous industry events and activations on Teads' behalf, but was also officially recognized as a 2015 New York Woman of Influence - an honor presented for her continual commitment to mentor, inspire and encourage female professional development.
Prior to working at Teads, Mahony acquired over ten years of online marketing experience, managing the international and digital thinking of iconic brands, like NetJets, McDonalds, and SONY. Proudly possessing a degree in History from the Nottingham Trent University and a former semi-professional tennis player, Mahony champions all forms of education as critical to any working professional or environment.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Since birth I have always been a very curious, active individual! As a young girl I would sign up to anything and everything just so I could get involved, meet new people and learn new skills. I love experiencing life and don't like missing out on anything! I was also a competitive tennis player in my younger years, which came with a steely will to win and determination to strive for the best. This is definitely an attitude that I have brought into my adult years and has helped push me to do things and take up opportunities that I may not have done otherwise. As a leader this has meant that I actively encourage and urge my team to take risks, push themselves and create their own opportunities. Hard work, dedication and passion for what you do go a long way, and are attributes every good leader has in abundance.
I also believe that the people you surround yourself is extremely important. That's why marrying my husband was a strike of great luck! He has been a huge inspiration and aid to me. Always encouraging me to keep learning, keep trying and often putting me first, helping me to become a better marketer, a better leader and ultimately a better person!
How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Teads?
My first job outside of university was working for large national retailer launching their online presence. This was before most people had even known online shopping existed so at the time it was very different to all the jobs my friends were doing. My parents thought I was crazy! But I found it incredibly exciting and I learnt so much in those first few years, especially how to multi-task and just 'get the job done'. This really ignited my love for the Internet and technology and how it can affect, for the better, communities, countries and even cultures. The world of online is constantly changing and evolving which is both frustrating and exhilarating all at the same time. You can't take yourself too seriously but you must take pride in what you do, work collaboratively across different offices and time-zones and put processes in place that help your team do their job better and more efficiently.
What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Teads?
As the CMO to Teads, a fast growing video ad tech company with 26 offices in 18 countries, I am responsible for executing all branding, communication, and publicity strategy. This means that I have to have my fingers pressed against the pulse of what's happening across all of our markets from Paris to Buenos Aires, New York to Tokyo. Core to our success is to ensure that our brand voice is consistent across all our global markets. It can be easy to assume that every country has the same strategy and adoption rates. However industry trends tell a different story and along with my team, our jobs are to adapt the way we communicate and market us to fit in with the local environment.
The highlight from my time at Teads definitely has to be surrounding myself with entrepreneurial, innovative, smart people who know exactly where they want to be and how to get there. We are in a tough, cluttered industry but despite this we have seen astronomical growth, on a global scale. When I first joined the company in our London office, we had just fewer than 100 people Europe. Now I am based out of our New York office and we are over 400 people strong, across Europe, North America, LatAm and Asia-Pacific, with a single united goal to be the best in the industry.
What advice can you offer women who are seeking a career in video technology?
Consider yourself a trailblazer and an example for other women to follow. The tech industry can feel like a boys-club at times, which can be daunting. But standing by your laurels, being flexible to change, focusing in on your goals and not being afraid to disagree will help elevate your career. Let's celebrate being women in business and use our own unique set of skills to complement others to ultimately be successful.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
There is no one answer to that question, and everyone is different. It's not always easy to manage, especially in this 'always on' world that we live in.
For me, I've found compartmentalizing 'work' and 'personal time' has helped me more focused during the time I am at work and given me the ability to spend more quality time with the people that I care about. It's also important to maintain your interests outside of your job, to give yourself 'downtime' whether that's going to the movies or playing sport.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Many women are afraid of being assertive, which is an essential quality to succeeding in any industry. Despite the efforts of leaders like Sheryl Sandberg, who urge females to outwardly communicate their talents and perspective, women continue to fear that they will be perceived as too edgy, harsh or inadequate when they position themselves front and center. The best way to combat this issue is to become associated with focused, successful and outspoken women. Learning from those who have obliterated self-doubt is the best start to achieving your own confident stride and powerful voice.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
From my experience, the best mentors represent more than just an example to learn from, but a relationship that's honest, open, and unlocks a deep awareness of your own potential. So much of my success is indebted to the faith my mentors have instilled in me, and that impact has undoubtedly translated to how I see myself as a leader today. Working as Teads' CMO, I don't consider myself a tight-leashed manager; rather, a supportive and patient guide, guru, and friend. As a mentor, my goal is to inspire others to hit the ground running, both professionally and personally, and feel that I was with them all along the way.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Martina Navratilova. I used to play competitive tennis when I was younger and got the opportunity to meet Navratilova at a tournament just before Wimbledon. By this point, she had won more tennis titles than she could count, and travelled the world a hundred times over. I asked her what kept her going, how did she keep motivated after all the success that she had seen? She told me two things: the first was to never stop learning, no matter how long you have been doing something; and the second was to always love what you do. These words have defined my days ever since, in both a professional and personal capacity. If one of the world's greatest ever tennis players still strived to learn and understand what she could improve on and was, after all those years, still passionate about her vocation, then that was what I was going to do.
What do you want Teads to accomplish this year?
This year is going to be a big one for Teads! We are expanding into brand new markets, working on exciting new innovations, partnering with more global brands and publishers, recruiting top talent and ultimately providing the marketplace with the only solution to viewable, premium video advertising at scale.